People in the area of Traditional Authority Chowe in Mangochi have all the reason to celebrate as they will soon benefit from a three-year K211, 423, 339 million health project courtesy of the Malawi Red Cross Society.
The project, financially supported by the Icelandic Red Cross, will be implemented under the name, Community-based health care and First Aid running for three years from 2013 – 2015.
Briefing the District Executive Committee on the project, the Society’s Orphans and Vulnerable Children and Infant Health Manager, George Mwimaniwa said the introduction of the project in the district was the genesis of a long term partnership with the Council.
“Although we have been working with Mangochi District Council for a long time now, the engagement has not been close such that this three year project will strengthen that collaboration,” said Mwimaniwa.
Mwimaniwa said the interaction with various key sectors in the process of executing activities under the project would enhance linkages of service providers, thereby reducing duplication of efforts.
He said the intervention was aimed at sustainably improving the health and well being of 9,000 households in the impact area using community based health and first aid approaches.
“Among other things, the project will strive at increasing knowledge of good health and nutrition and increasing knowledge of prevention, treatment and control of malaria,” Mwimaniwa pointed out.
Icelandic Red Cross Country Representative, Omar Valdimarsson observed that the success of the project depended on preparedness of the community to own the activities in the initiative.
“What will be critical in the project is to prepare the community to know in advance their roles and responsibilities in the whole project life cycle,” Valdimarsson hinted.
Valdimarsson said the undertaking which will financially and technically be implemented with joint support from Icelandic Red Cross and the Icelandic International Development Agency was expected to start bearing results by the end of the year.
“Considering that all the plans for the project were in place and the budget was also approved, we expect to move with speed and hope to see results by the end of the year,” Valdimarsson said.
Speaking when he chaired the DEC meeting, District Community Services Officer for Mangochi, Haji Bokho Mvula commended Red Cross for the initiative, saying the council faces a number of challenges in the health and education sectors which would be addressed through the intervention.
“The introduction of the programme in the area will help to address some of the critical areas people in the area of chief Chowe were facing in terms of school bursaries, water and sanitation and other social sectors,” Mvula said.
Mvula assured the Red Cross that the council would commit and provide all the necessary support to the activities of the project so that it registers its intended objectives.
Some of the major activities under the project will include, reduction of morbidity and mortality due to malaria, reduction of maternal and child mortality, increasing access to sustainable safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene practices.
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